El Salvador's president says he is studying a series of measures to combat street gang violence in the Central American country.

President Salvador Sanchez Ceren says the measures could include some form of a limited state of emergency and the release of some non-gang inmates to free up prison space and cut down on the need for police to serve as guards. He says as many as 5,000 non-violent, old or sick inmates could be freed.

Sanchez Ceren also said Monday that the government is looking at "limiting some rights" in areas that are dominated by the gangs.

Such measures would have to be approved by the country's congress.

More than 1,500 people have been killed in El Salvador this year.